- John Williams enthusiasts may find this discussion about the influence of minimalism on his modern style to be interesting.
- I know plenty of digital babies who would be shocked at the thought that the sonics on an LP could be clearer than those of a CD, but mastering plays a role as well. I remember when seeing the DVD of Altered States how much more clean and present the music sounded than it did on the RCA CD, despite the fact that it was an extremely lossy 384 kb/s Dolby Digital track — on the other hand, it had discrete surrounds. I had recently picked up the score for Altered States on vinyl, but haven't had a chance to listen to it until now.
The RCA CD's Dolby Surround processing, while composer-approved, does make the sound on that disc rather muddy and indistinct and it is also a bit on the tinny side. The attempt with the matrixing is to replicated the very dimensional presence that the score has on the film soundtrack, and it is only moderately successful. The straight stereo representation on the LP is much clearer, which is essential given the depth of complexity the music has, and of course the celebrated analog warmth takes care of the tinniness; the bursts of the love theme are that much more rapturous for that.
- On a related note, it's so damned fun to play vinyl. I still have a sort of Pavlovian reaction to that initial "pop" when the needle enters the groove. I will say that there was one point that I wanted to hear a particular bit of orchestration again, and I started looking around for the remote to scan the LP back. Right.
- From Doug Adams' blog:
Howard Shore is officially composing a concerto for piano and orchestra at he behest of world-renowned Chinese pianist Lang Lang. Expect to hear more in the coming months. This work will mark Shore's first effort in the world of instrumental concerti.
- While there are negative aspects to not having a car, it doesn't really effect the standard weekday all that much for me. And sometimes it isn't so bad at all; I had a few errands I had to run yesterday over on 188th Street. If I had my car, I probably would have just shot out and gotten them done right quick, but instead I had to walk over. The weather outside was gorgeous yesterday, the walk was quite enjoyable. It also gave me a chance to organize how I was going to present the liner notes for Just Talkin' About Shaft.
- While the new Rounder release of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Score is a pretty good overview of Christophe Beck's contribution to the series, all of the music from seasons two and three on it had originally appeared on Beck's promo discs. On the other hand, none of the music from 'Hush,' 'Restless' or 'The Gift' is the same as that on the Once More With Feeling cast album (even the "Sacrifice" cue from 'The Gift' is an alternate version). Integrating the music all together into a single season 4 & 5 playlist yields a decent 45 minute album unto itself, not too dissimilar from the season 2 and 3 promos.
This is good for me as Rounder's presentation leaves off some of my favorite music from the promos: "What's That Do?" from 'Innocence,' "Vision of Jenny" and "Close Your Eyes" from 'Becoming, Part 2' (the latter appeared on the original Buffy song album, which probably accounts for its absence here) from season two and "Blood Machine from 'The Wish,' "A Father's Love" from 'Helpless,' "Class Protector" from 'The Prom,' "Little Miss Muffet" and "War" from 'Graduation Day, Part 2' from season three (another favorite, "Dead Guys with Bombs" from 'The Zeppo' was on the Import edition of Radio Sunnydale, though not the domestic version, which has some different tracks). At some point in the future, I'll actually go through 'Hush' and 'Restless' to break up those suites and order them with the other material properly, but I'm in no rush to do that.
- While I'm glad to have the new Buffy disc, I do have to mention that it is a shame that none of Thomas Wanker's music for seasons five and six have any release either, but also Robert Duncan's outstanding work on season seven. Duncan had an EP of his Buffy music that he had placed on his old website that featured several standout cues, including "Spike's Predatory Nights" from 'Sleeper' and most of the epic finale of the episode 'Chosen' (an excerpt of which is on both Radio Sunnydale releases), but that was only a taste of his work on the series' grand finale, which featured a slowly developing theme for Buffy and Spike that is only heard in its final form at the end of 'Chosen' and an adaptation of the Nerf Herder title song into an anthem for the Slayers. The love theme for Willow and Kennedy seems a bit too Thomas Newman to me, but I was otherwise quite impressed with his music for the series and would really love to see a more rounded presentation.
- If anybody can answer the question that montyy0 poses at the end of this post, I'd be very interested in hearing it.
And now for some very sad news:
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Play well in the Great Gig in the Sky